How to Start a Small Business in Murrells Inlet, SC (2023 Guide)

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
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Start Small Business in Murrells Inlet

Starting a small business in Murrells Inlet, SC: If you have aspirations of starting a small business in Murrells Inlet, SC, thorough preparation and research are essential. Starting a small business in South Carolina can be intimidating and exciting, necessitating adherence to various legal procedures and documentation. With a population of approximately 9695, Murrells Inlet offers a substantial market to tap into.

Beginning the journey of a business venture entails several crucial steps. These include selecting a unique business name, designating a registered agent, and filing the requisite paperwork with state authorities. Filing an operating agreement, securing an EIN, and conforming to local regulations are equally significant.

As you start establishing a small business in Murrells Inlet, our guidance on business formation aims to present invaluable insights into optimal practices and mandatory requirements. With unwavering commitment and diligence, you will be well-positioned to reap the rewards and face the challenges of running your own enterprise. The Webinarcare team has outlined the following straightforward steps to assist you in initiating your small business in Murrells Inlet.

Evaluate the Business Idea in Murrells Inlet, SC

Before diving into forming a small business in Murrells Inlet, SC, it’s crucial to assess your business idea thoroughly. A solid foundation is key to successfully starting and growing your venture. To help guide you through this evaluation, we’ve come up with a list of important factors to consider:

  1. Market demand: Determine if there’s a sufficient need for your product or service in Murrells Inlet or in South Carolina. Conduct market research to evaluate your target audience and potential competitors around your area of operation. This will help identify gaps in the market and fine-tune your business idea accordingly.
  2. Unique selling proposition (USP): As you contemplate your business idea, consider what sets it apart from others in the market. Your USP should address an unmet need that will attract customers and distinguish you from competitors.
  3. Feasibility and scalability: Evaluate whether your idea is practical and achievable within the context of Murrells Inlet. Consider factors such as availability of resources, access to the target market, and potential barriers to entry. Additionally, think about the long-term growth of your business. Make sure you plan to scale your operations as your customer base expands.
  4. Legal structure: Before starting a business in Murrells Inlet, you must decide its legal structure. Will you form an LLC in South Carolina, start an S-corporation, or establish a sole proprietorship? Each structure has its own advantages and implications for things like taxes, liability, and branding. Weigh these options carefully to make the most informed decision for your business.
  5. Costs and funding: Calculate the initial and ongoing costs that are required to run a business, such as rent, equipment, supplies, and employee wages. After calculating these expenses, identify potential sources of funding to cover them. These might include personal savings, loans, investors, or government grants. This will help you clearly understand the amount of capital you need to start and keep your business running.
  6. SWOT analysis: Perform a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis for your business idea. This assessment will allow you to pinpoint areas of improvement, leverage your advantages, and turn threats into opportunities.

Addressing these factors sets a strong foundation for your small business in Murrells Inlet. Once you understand the business idea, you’ll be well-equipped to move on to other crucial steps in the formation process, such as LLC formation, business registration, and obtaining necessary licenses and permits in South Carolina. The more thoroughly you assess your idea, the better your chances of success in starting and growing your small business in Murrells Inlet.

Some of the businesses that flourish in South Carolina are Financial services, Car rentals, Fitness, Poultry Farming, and Education and health services over a period of time. If you want to start something already on the top business list, ensure you are well-prepared with your business strategy and plan. If you are in Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, you might get more potential buyers for these businesses.

Murrells Inlet: Demographic and Economic Overview

Education and Labour Force Stats in Murrells Inlet (%)

Less than high school (%)6.3%
Highschool (%)20%
College (%)34.8%
Graduate (%)13.9%
Bachelor (%)24.9%
Stem Degree (%)40.7%
College or Above (%)38.8%
Labour Force Participation (%)49%
Unemployment Rate (%)3.1%

Also Read: Start a Small Business in Oil City, PA

Income Stats in Murrells Inlet (%)

Family Dual Income34.7%
Household Median Income67981%
Individual Median Income30096%
Household Income $150k+14.8%
Household Income $100k-150k19.8%
Household Income $75k-100k12.3%
Household Income $50k-75k11.7%

Population and Age Overview in Murrells Inlet (%)

City NameMurrells Inlet
State NameSouth Carolina
State IDSC
State CapitalColumbia
City Population9695
Population Density490.4
County NamesGeorgetown
% of Male Population50.6%
% of Female Population49.4%
% of People in their 20s8%
% of People in their 30s5.3%
% of People in their 40s10.4%
% of People in their 50s14.5%
% of People in their 60s23.3%
% of People in their 80s4.6%
Average Individual Income 30096
% of People owned own home82.2%
Labour Force Participation49
Unemployment Rate3.1
Poverty Rate8.9%

How to Start a Small Business in Murrells Inlet

We shared a step-by-step guide below on how you can put a foot forward to setting up your small business in Murrells Inlet. The following steps are required to follow to set up your business. However, these are general steps applicable to all business setup types. Depending on your business type, the steps can be changed.

Step 1: Decide on a Legal Structure

Kickstarting your business in Murrells Inlet demands a pivotal decision: selecting an appropriate legal structure. This choice profoundly shapes your taxation, liability, and overall business operations. In this segment, we’ll delve into various legal frameworks, equipping you with insights to make a well-informed choice.

There are four common legal structures for businesses: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and Corporations. Here, we’ll briefly explore each one:

  • Sole Proprietorship: The most straightforward business model, where you, the entrepreneur, wield full control. However, this control comes with complete responsibility for all financial obligations and potential liabilities. This structure suits solo ventures with minimal risks or those contemplating a more formal setup later.
  • Partnership: Suitable for ventures with multiple stakeholders, partnerships can manifest as General, Limited, or Limited Liability Partnerships. Each carries unique tax consequences and liability clauses.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): LLCs are popular among small business owners as they offer limited liability protection and tax flexibility. LLC formation is simple, making it a preferred option for many entrepreneurs. To get an idea of how to form an LLC, check out “South Carolina LLC Formation Guide” on our website.
  • Corporation: A corporation is a separate legal entity owned by the shareholders, providing them with limited liability. Forming a Corporation in South Carolina can be either C-Corps or S-Corps, each with different tax implications. Forming a corporation is generally more complex and expensive than starting an LLC.

To make the right decision on your business structure, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much personal liability protection do you need?
  2. What tax structure is most favorable for your business?
  3. How important are flexibility and ease of management?
  4. Are you planning to seek external funding?

Consider working with a professional business formation expert or attorney to help you understand the pros and cons of each legal structure and the specific requirements in Murrells Inlet. Remember that there are additional steps to take after choosing your legal structure, like obtaining necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.

So, whether you’re forming an LLC or deciding to start a business as a sole proprietor, this crucial decision will lay the foundation for your success in Murrells Inlet. Take your time to research and consult with professionals to ensure you’re making the best choice for your unique business needs. Now that you better understand the legal structures available, you’re one step closer to fulfilling your dream of starting a business in Murrells Inlet.

Step 2: Register Your Small Business in Murrells Inlet

When you’re ready to start a small business in Murrells Inlet, you must go through the proper steps to ensure you’re legally protected. This section will walk you through the process of forming an LLC, as this is a popular and straightforward business structure for many entrepreneurs. Let’s begin with the business formation steps in Murrells Inlet.

2a. Choose a Business Name

To form a small business in Murrells Inlet, decide on a unique and easily identifiable business name. Remember, any other business entity must not use your chosen name in South Carolina. Make sure to include an appropriate designator, such as “LLC” or “LLP,” “Inc.” and such in the name. If you’re not forming your company immediately but want to reserve your desired name, you can file DBA in Murrells Inlet.

2b. Hire South Carolina Registered Agent

Every South Carolina-based business requires a registered agent — an individual or entity designated to receive legal and official documents on your company’s behalf. This agent should have legal authorization to operate in the state and a physical address within South Carolina. They should be at least 18 years of age. You can be your own registered agent, but it is strongly recommended to appoint a professional agent for your business in Murrells Inlet, SC. You can check the list of best registered agents in South Carolina, compare their prices, and their services in this list.

2c. File your Incorporation Documents

Filing the incorporation document of your business is the official step to registering your business with the state. This paperwork should encompass details like your business name, address, objective, and names of the LLC members. After filling out the required form, submit it and the necessary fee to the appropriate state business registration authority. If you want to start an LLC, you must file South Carolina Articles of Organization, and if you’re filing a corporation, file South Carolina Articles of Incorporation with South Carolina Secretary of State. You don’t need a formal registration for the sole proprietorship business in Murrells Inlet.

2d. Draft an LLC Operating Agreement

Although not required by every state, having an LLC Operating Agreement in South Carolina is highly recommended. This document outlines the rights and responsibilities of LLC members, as well as management and profit-sharing arrangements. By having a clear LLC Operating Agreement, you can avoid potential disputes and misunderstandings among members down the road.

Step 3: Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is a tax identification number issued by the IRS to businesses. This number is needed for tax reporting purposes, opening business bank accounts, and hiring employees. You can request an EIN directly from the IRS, free of charge.

Step 4: Register for State and Local Taxes

Depending on your LLC’s location and operations in Murrells Inlet, you may need to register for various state and local taxes. These can include sales tax, payroll tax, and business licensing fees. Consult with a local tax professional or research online resources to determine your tax obligations.

Following these steps will help you form your LLC and start your business on the right legal footing. Keep in mind that forming a business may involve additional steps depending on the specific requirements of Murrells Inlet and your industry. Always be thorough in your research and consult with professionals when necessary.

Step 5: Obtaining Licenses and Permits

Starting a small business in Murrells Inlet is an exciting venture, but ensuring you have all the necessary licenses and permits. When you form an LLC or any other type of business, obtaining these legal documents can help you stay compliant and avoid potential hassles in the future. We’ll outline the steps to secure licenses and permits for your new business.

First, you’ll need to research the specific licenses, permits, and regulations relevant to your industry in Murrells Inlet. These requirements can vary greatly, so being familiar with those relevant to your business is important. Some industries may require federal and state licenses, while others only need local permits. You can find state and local requirements information by checking with the Murrells Inlet government’s website or office for local details.

  • Research Industry-Specific Regulations: The licensing landscape in Murrells Inlet can differ vastly across industries. Familiarize yourself with the mandates pertinent to your domain. Some sectors might entail both federal and state licenses, while others might be confined to local permits. The Murrells Inlet government’s website serves as a reliable resource for local regulations.
  • Application Process:
    • For federal licenses, consult the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to identifying your industry’s overseeing authority.
    • State-level licenses can be explored through the SBA’s state business license lookup tool.
    • Local licenses can be pursued via the official Murrells Inlet government website, which provides essential forms and directives.
  • License Maintenance: After procurement, maintaining your licenses is crucial. Many licenses come with expiry dates or stipulate periodic renewals. Be vigilant about these timelines to sidestep potential fines or punitive measures, and be proactive with renewals.

Next, you need to apply for all the necessary documents:

  • If your business must obtain federal licenses or permits, head to the U.S. Small Business Administration federal licenses and permits guide to find the relevant authority for your industry.
  • You can use the SBA’s state business license lookup tool for state-specific licenses and permits to identify the appropriate agencies to contact.
  • To apply for local licenses, visit the Murrells Inlet government’s official website or office and access the necessary forms and instructions.

After gathering all the necessary permits and licenses, staying up-to-date is essential. Licenses and permits may have expiration dates or require periodic renewals. Keep track of these deadlines to avoid potential fines or penalties, and always be prepared to renew when needed.

In Murrells Inlet, obtaining licenses and permits can help your small business stay compliant and set you up for success. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth process from LLC formation to business growth. Good luck in your entrepreneurial journey!

Financial Set Up of Your Business in Murrells Inlet

When forming your small business in Murrells Inlet, you must give equal importance to setting up the financial structure. In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps and considerations needed as you establish the financial backbone of your new venture.

1. Open a Business Bank Account:

Separating personal and business finances is crucial for legal protection and accurate bookkeeping. Opening a business bank account in Murrells Inlet simplifies the process of tracking income, expenses, and tax responsibilities. Shop around for a bank in Murrells Inlet that offers the features and services that align with the needs of your specific business. Explore the best banks for small businesses in South Carolina.

2. Arrange Business Loans and Grants in Murrells Inlet, SC

Before you start your small business, make sure to plan your finances. It is wise to get loans or grants from a trusted organization to start your business in Murrells Inlet. When it comes to getting bank loans, South Carolina has several banks that provide the best business loans in South Carolina. You can explore them to get the best one for your business. On the other hand, there are the best small business grants in South Carolina for your business.

3. Set up a Bookkeeping and Accounting System

Maintain financial health and ensure tax compliance in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina by establishing a robust bookkeeping system. While many modern software options can aid in this process, hiring a professional bookkeeper or accountant can provide further insight and accuracy.

Incorporating these steps into your plan will help you start a small business in Murrells Inlet, SC with a solid financial foundation. Remember that each business is unique, and it’s always a good idea to consult an LLC and business formation expert for tailored advice. Building a strong financial base will help ensure your venture in Murrells Inlet is set up for long-term success.


What is the population of Murrells Inlet, SC?
The population of Murrells Inlet, SC is approximately 9,000 residents.
Can you recommend some popular small businesses in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Sure! Some popular small businesses in Murrells Inlet, SC include restaurants like Dead Dog Saloon, Hot Fish Club, and Big Beaver Bar.
Are there any local art galleries in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet is home to several art galleries such as the Murrells Inlet Art Traders and Lazelle’s Custom Framing & Art Gallery.
Is Murrells Inlet, SC a tourist destination?
Yes, Murrells Inlet is known for its beautiful marsh views, fantastic seafood restaurants, and popular attractions like the MarshWalk, making it a popular destination for tourists.
Are there any lodging options for visitors in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, there are several lodging options in Murrells Inlet, SC including hotels, motels, resorts, and vacation rentals.
What are the main industries driving the local economy in Murrells Inlet, SC?
The main industries driving the local economy in Murrells Inlet, SC are tourism, hospitality, seafood restaurants, and recreational activities.
Where can I find unique gifts and souvenirs in Murrells Inlet, SC?
You can find unique gifts and souvenirs in various local shops in Murrells Inlet, SC, such as High Tide Artisan Gallery, Lazy Gator, and Inlet Queens Boutique.
Are there any annual events or festivals in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet hosts several annual events and festivals including the MarshWalk Santa Crawl, Fourth of July Boat Parade, Taste of the MarshWalk, and more.
Are there any recreational activities available in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Absolutely! Murrells Inlet offers a range of recreational activities such as boating, fishing, kayaking, jet skiing, paddleboarding, and much more.
Are there any popular golf courses in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet is home to several renowned golf courses such as The International Club, TPC Myrtle Beach, and Indian Wells Golf Club.
Can you recommend any family-friendly attractions in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Certainly! Family-friendly attractions in Murrells Inlet, SC include Go Ape Treetop Adventure Park, Nature’s Trail, and Inlet Adventure Mini Golf.
What are some popular seafood dishes available in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Some popular seafood dishes enjoyed in Murrells Inlet, SC include shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, fried oysters, and Lowcountry boils.
Are there any nature or wildlife preserves in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Huntington Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens are two nature and wildlife preserves located in Murrells Inlet, SC that are worth visiting.
Are there any public transportation options in Murrells Inlet, SC?
While there may not be comprehensive public transportation in Murrells Inlet, SC, there are taxis, ride-sharing options, and rental car services available.
Can you recommend any scenic spots in Murrells Inlet, SC for photography?
Some scenic spots in Murrells Inlet, SC that offer fantastic photo opportunities include Goat Island, the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, and the landmark Hammock Shop.
Are there any recreational parks or playgrounds in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, there are several recreational parks and playgrounds in Murrells Inlet, SC such as Morse Park Landing, Russell Burgess Coastal Preserve, and J. Bryan Floyd Community Center.
Is Murrells Inlet, SC a dog-friendly destination?
Yes, Murrells Inlet is a dog-friendly destination with several pet-friendly parks, restaurants, and accommodations that welcome furry friends.
Are there any fitness or yoga studios in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet is home to various fitness and yoga studios like CoreFit Total Fitness, Unity Yoga, and Asanas Yoga Studio.
Where can I find delicious homestyle cooking in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Some establishments known for delicious homestyle cooking in Murrells Inlet, SC are Drunken Jack’s, Creek Ratz, and Prosser’s BBQ.
Is there a farmers market in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet hosts a farmers market called the Murrells Inlet Farmers Market offering local produce, handmade crafts, and more.
Are there any historical landmarks or sites in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet has The Murrells Inlet “Old School” which was built in the 1920s and is considered a historical landmark in the area.
Where can I find delicious desserts and ice cream in Murrells Inlet, SC?
You can indulge in delicious desserts and ice cream in places like Painter’s Homemade Ice Cream, The Fudgery, and Cold Stone Creamery that are located in Murrells Inlet.
Can you recommend any nearby public beaches in close proximity to Murrells Inlet, SC?
Absolutely! Some nearby public beaches include Huntington Beach State Park beach, Garden City Beach, and Myrtle Beach State Park beach.
Are there any medical facilities or hospitals in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet has a medical facility called Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital that serves the healthcare needs of the residents in the area.
Does Murrells Inlet, SC have any local breweries or distilleries?
While Murrells Inlet may not have local breweries or distilleries within its immediate vicinity, there are several options available nearby in Myrtle Beach and Georgetown.
Where can I find a good seafood buffet in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Murrells Inlet hosts several seafood buffets known for their delicious variety of seafood dishes, including the original Crabby Mike’s Seafood which offers an extensive buffet menu.
Is there a local Chamber of Commerce in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, Murrells Inlet has its own Chamber of Commerce called the Murrells Inlet 2020 Chamber of Commerce that supports local businesses in the area.
Can you recommend any scenic walking or biking trails in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Sure! Some popular walking or biking trails in Murrells Inlet, SC are the Wachesaw Plantation East Trail, the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway, and the Huntington Beach State Park Trail.
What are some popular fishing spots in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Anglers often enjoy fishing in spots like the Murrells Inlet Jetty, the inshore creeks and marshes, or by taking fishing charters for deep-sea fishing experiences.
Are there any nearby golf driving ranges or practice facilities in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Yes, there are golf driving ranges and practice facilities near Murrells Inlet, such as the Inlet Sports Lodge Golf Facility and Caledonia Golf Vacations World Tour Golf Links.
Can you recommend any live music venues in Murrells Inlet, SC?
Some live music venues in Murrells Inlet, SC include the MarshWalk which often features live music performances, bands at Dead Dog Saloon, and Creek Ratz’s outdoor deck with live music events.
How far is Murrells Inlet, SC from Myrtle Beach, SC?
Murrells Inlet is located just south of Myrtle Beach, and the distance between the two cities is approximately 13 miles.

How Fast Can You Start a Small Business in Murrells Inlet, SC

One of the factors that set Murrells Inlet apart is the ease and speed at which one can start a small business. This charming town boasts a plethora of resources and advantages that facilitate the establishment of new ventures. Whether you aspire to open a boutique, a restaurant, or a service-based company, Murrells Inlet’s favorable business climate can help make your dreams come true.

First and foremost, the supportive ecosystem offered by the Murrells Inlet community plays a pivotal role in fostering small businesses’ growth and development. Local residents and authorities genuinely value and embrace the entrepreneurial spirit, readily supporting new ventures by offering guidance, networking opportunities, and mentorship. From local small business associations to entrepreneurs’ meetups, there are ample chances to connect with like-minded individuals who can share invaluable insights, struggles, and successes from their own entrepreneurial journeys. These community-driven support systems boost confidence and amplify aspirations, enabling entrepreneurs to unlock their full potential in a remarkably short time.

In addition to the ample local support, Murrells Inlet’s impressive market demand acts as a catalyst for small business growth. With a diverse range of industries, including tourism, hospitality, and service sectors, the town attracts a constant flow of visitors and residents, eager to experience all that it has to offer. Consequently, the town provides a fertile ground for entrepreneurial endeavors to amass a steady clientele swiftly. This ensures that small businesses can rapidly transition from the startup phase to building a thriving customer base, propelling them on a fast track towards success.

Murrells Inlet’s geographical location also makes it an attractive destination for aspiring business owners. Situated on the southern end of South Carolina’s Grand Strand, this charming town not only boasts serene natural beauty but also benefits from its proximity to major urban centers. With Myrtle Beach just a short drive away, entrepreneurs have access to a larger market on their doorstep, offering endless opportunities for collaborations, partnerships, and expansion. Furthermore, Murrells Inlet’s strategic location as part of an immensely popular tourist destination ensures a constant influx of potential customers all year round, allowing small businesses to thrive and succeed at a rapid pace.

Moreover, Murrells Inlet’s easy-to-navigate regulatory and licensing requirements expedite the process of starting a small business. The local authorities have streamlined procedures and created a business-friendly environment, sparing entrepreneurs from excessive red tape and bureaucratic hurdles. Confidently armed with a solid business plan, motivated entrepreneurs can seamlessly navigate the legal aspects, enabling them to open their doors for business in no time.

In conclusion, the prospects for starting a small business in Murrells Inlet, SC are simply delightful. The town’s warm community, thriving market demand, strategic location, and supportive ecosystem offer the ideal recipe for quick business success. This picturesque coastal town’s charm and exponential growth make it the perfect destination for ambitious entrepreneurs ready to turn their dreams into reality.


Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey in Murrells Inlet, SC requires meticulous preparation and a clear understanding of the local business landscape. As we’ve detailed, a systematic approach ensures that your venture stands on solid ground right from the beginning.

While forming an LLC is a favored choice for many in Murrells Inlet due to its distinct advantages, like liability protection and tax benefits, it’s essential to grasp the nuances of its formation and local compliance requirements.

To recap, when starting a business in Murrells Inlet, remember to:

  • Research your market and develop a solid business plan
  • Decide on the appropriate business structure (e.g., LLC, sole proprietorship)
  • Register your business with state and local agencies.
  • Obtain necessary permits or licenses.
  • Keep up with ongoing tax and legal responsibilities.

In Murrells Inlet, business formation encompasses various tasks that must be carried out meticulously to lay a solid foundation for your enterprise. Commit to learning how to start a business, form an LLC, and zoning in on the requirements specific to your Murrells Inlet location. By ticking these boxes, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful business owner.

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